When should someone stop driving?
When do you think elderly people should stop driving? Should there be a stated age, or re-test ? For many elderly drivers their car means independence to them, they can drive to the supermarket to shop and get out and about to visit friends.They can also visit partners or friends in hospital. So just when is it safe to continue driving and when should someone consider stopping?
At present, older drivers must re-apply for their driving licence at the age of 70 and then every three years after that.
There is currently no kind of tests or inspections – either medical or motoring and there is also no legal age at which anyone must stop driving. The individual can decide when to stop driving providing they do not have any medical conditions affecting their ability to do so safely.
One of the main reasons many drivers stop driving is due to sight loss. A driver must be able to read a number plate in good daylight with the aid of glasses or contact lenses if worn a registration plate from the distance of 20 meters or 60 feet.
By 2015, the Department for Transport anticipates that there will be more than 4.5 million UK licence holders above the age of 70 and whilst statistics show that drivers over the age of 80 have more accidents per mile than any other age group only 84 had their entitlement to drive revoked because of a notification from a doctor, while 1,869 made a “self-declaration” to the DVLA of their inability to carry on driving.
One of my clients drove to her local shop and then walked home as she had forgotten the car. Her family told her the car was an MOT failure and beyond repair and then sold it.
The other observation I have made is that some elderly drivers seem to think the current drink-drive regulations do not apply to them.
Strangely enough, when I first published this article I noticed the Telegraph were also writing along similar lines on the same day..! Freaky!
Have you had to suggest to an elderly person they should not be driving?
I have even know of a case where a lady with dementia, despite a series of accidents was allowed to continue driving by the police and her insurance company. Luckily she finally decided to stop, before she killed someone.